Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

Goknub

Member
If we're talking amphibs I think the govt/ADF needs to be looking at the other end of the capability spectrum. The LHDs are great vessels but they lack raw lift capacity. A brigade-sized lift requires every ship be available which isn't sound planning. The army needs to be able to move in our region as a heavy force, in scale. I would argue what is more urgently needed are heavy RORO-type transports, ideally a pair to match the LHDs. This would provide a more tangible deterrent to potential adversaries and a broader range of options to government.
The RN Point class ships are the type I believe are needed, something to bring all the logistical and support forces needed for a modern military operation.
 
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Sideline

New Member
I don't know about a brigade-sized lift /tangible being a deterrent to potential adversaries there is only one semi-realistic adversary in the whole Indian-Pacific region. In any form of real shooting war, every man, woman and offensive item in Australia might just slow them down for a day or two, why compete in that race (when we a happy to sell them most of what the want).

The security of Australia is tied to the pacific security in general, preventing a pacific refugee situation, stopping outside political and financial influence, maintaining employment and saving the fishing from exploitation. A fleet of 3 JSS design Pacific support, HDR & outreach ship for the RAN/Dfat (Joint funded) and 4 medium amphibious ships (Sea Transport's SLV design?) Army/Dfat (Joint funded), and more MQ-4C Tritons. The JSS design has 70% lane/stores capacity of HMAS Choules and 70% of the fuel capacity of the old HMAS Success AOR.

The IMHO real focus should be on preventing a security/shooting situation:
1) Climate change disasters and refugees = HDR Ship, economic support, otherwise it will become an internal AUST/NZ issue
2) Foreign political, economic and fishery exploitation influence in the south pacific creating a defacto "22 dash line" ie: Solomons/Vanuatu = consistent outreach via HDR Ship/s, economic support, otherwise again it will become an internal AUST/NZ issue
3) Fixed and relocatable Anti-Sub sound Surveillance fields, around the South Pacific and East Indian ocean = New subs and UUV ASAP
4) Increase in ASW and southern ocean fisheries surveillance and enforcement (aerial and on the water) = Southern ocean capable fisheries & patrol vessels and MORE MQ-4C Tritons
5) Increased investment in JORN over-the-horizon radar
6) Investment in a Naval Base at Lombrum and a shared Aust/NZ UAV landing strip/port in the central Pacific
 

buffy9

Active Member
I don't know about a brigade-sized lift /tangible being a deterrent to potential adversaries there is only one semi-realistic adversary in the whole Indian-Pacific region. In any form of real shooting war, every man, woman and offensive item in Australia might just slow them down for a day or two, why compete in that race (when we a happy to sell them most of what the want).

The security of Australia is tied to the pacific security in general, preventing a pacific refugee situation, stopping outside political and financial influence, maintaining employment and saving the fishing from exploitation. A fleet of 3 JSS design Pacific support, HDR & outreach ship for the RAN/Dfat (Joint funded) and 4 medium amphibious ships (Sea Transport's SLV design?) Army/Dfat (Joint funded), and more MQ-4C Tritons. The JSS design has 70% lane/stores capacity of HMAS Choules and 70% of the fuel capacity of the old HMAS Success AOR.

The IMHO real focus should be on preventing a security/shooting situation:
1) Climate change disasters and refugees = HDR Ship, economic support, otherwise it will become an internal AUST/NZ issue
2) Foreign political, economic and fishery exploitation influence in the south pacific creating a defacto "22 dash line" ie: Solomons/Vanuatu = consistent outreach via HDR Ship/s, economic support, otherwise again it will become an internal AUST/NZ issue
3) Fixed and relocatable Anti-Sub sound Surveillance fields, around the South Pacific and East Indian ocean = New subs and UUV ASAP
4) Increase in ASW and southern ocean fisheries surveillance and enforcement (aerial and on the water) = Southern ocean capable fisheries & patrol vessels and MORE MQ-4C Tritons
5) Increased investment in JORN over-the-horizon radar
6) Investment in a Naval Base at Lombrum and a shared Aust/NZ UAV landing strip/port in the central Pacific
FSP lists only two JSS vessels as a replacement for HMAS Choules with an budget of approximately four to six billion, to enter service out to the early 2030s. The PSS on the other hand is listed as having a budget of approximately 180 to 280 million and is set to enter service sometime between now and 2025. It can be gauged that the PSS is a more urgent but smaller capability, to be separate from the JSS vessels. I imagine DFAT will want to have a role in the PSS, though it is not as well funded as Defence and will likely require re-allocation of resources, barring additional funding.

 
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spoz

The Bunker Group
Yes, certainly; but it’s unlikely that’s why they’d want to control the South Pacific,; that would seem likely to be more about access denial.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I think in the next 20~40 years future it will by about
Food & Mineral Resources and an EEZ will mean very little
It will be about fresh water, food, energy and mineral resources. An EEZ will matter a lot because they will be at the centre of international disputes over resources. That's what the SCS is about and what is happening in the Eastern Mediterranean with Turkey being aggressive about its claims.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Construction of the Osborne South Naval Shipyard has been completed, reported in ADM today.
This is the yard to be leased to BAE for the Hunter build programme.
Let’s hope it runs as smoothly as those computer generated images showed over a year ago.


http://www.australiandefence.com.au/news/osborne-south-shipyard-completes-construction?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ADM Headlines - 13 Oct 2020&utm_content=ADM Headlines - 13 Oct 2020+CID_34935dccf5200bb4d0e97ab9eb64fdbf&utm_source=Email marketing software&utm_term=Osborne South shipyard completes construction
 
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alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Construction of the Osborne North Naval Shipyard has been completed, reported in ADM today.
This is the yard to be leased to BAE for the Hunter build programme.
Let’s hope it runs as smoothly as those computer generated images showed over a year ago.


http://www.australiandefence.com.au/news/osborne-south-shipyard-completes-construction?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ADM Headlines - 13 Oct 2020&utm_content=ADM Headlines - 13 Oct 2020+CID_34935dccf5200bb4d0e97ab9eb64fdbf&utm_source=Email marketing software&utm_term=Osborne South shipyard completes construction
I remain frustrated with the paucity of information provided by defence (and ANI) about this project and the Arafura class OPV. A few images and announcements from defence would let folk know what their defence budget is going on.

On a side issue can I suggest the subject of the impact of EEZ's etc go under the ADF geopolitical tread ... it seems more suited as the factors have a wider impact than just the RAN. I also suggest that the mechanism of determining territorial seas and EEZ's for coastal states who are archipelagic states needs to be considered in this discussion. Article 46 of UNCLOS is relevant


.... it makes quite a difference and a lot of pacific states can apply this rule.
(PS: I am not recommending Wikipedia as a definitive source on this)

The attached image provides an indication of the application of article in respect the baseline ... even before you start looking at territorial sea and EEZ.

1602555669685.png

 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Construction of the Osborne South Naval Shipyard has been completed, reported in ADM today.
This is the yard to be leased to BAE for the Hunter build programme.
Let’s hope it runs as smoothly as those computer generated images showed over a year ago.


http://www.australiandefence.com.au/news/osborne-south-shipyard-completes-construction?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ADM Headlines - 13 Oct 2020&utm_content=ADM Headlines - 13 Oct 2020+CID_34935dccf5200bb4d0e97ab9eb64fdbf&utm_source=Email marketing software&utm_term=Osborne South shipyard completes construction
Brings a tear to the eye, particularly on days like today, because I am not there. Nothing quite like working on a major project in a mid to senior engineering role, not just for what you get to do but mostly because of the people you get to work with and what you get to learn.
 

toryu

Member
Toryu

A good summation of the peace time aspirations for the class.
A quantum leap in surveillance and sea keeping ability at distance than the previous three generations of patrol "boats".
The helicopter limitations of the flight ( Flexi / mission ) deck will hopefully be remedied, even if the class over the next three decades of service never fire a war shot.
Firstly, sorry it took so long to reply. Just work/life distractions as we all know.

You're absolutely right on all counts, assuming what you feel might come to pass, does. Peace time aspirations are important though because as far as RAN naval operations go, peace time is almost all the time.

I feel your frustration, really, but lately I'm looking differently at that old elephant in the room that is China. Beyond the aggressive island building, the whatever dash lines and all the huff and puff of this and that mega destroyer/carrier killing missile/etc announcement from them, I don't feel any bit of that is a war type threat to us directly for some time, certainly not as a traditional conflict.

I don't envisage a genuine large scale hot war in SEA anytime soon. I don't believe China wants any part of that idea given its own internal security issues and mostly conscript /inexperienced /unmotivated military stock. They would avoid a direct war with most countries for sure but will pursue expansion policy by every dirty, nasty non-direct means possible.

What I do think is a threat today and going into the future is this newer trend of using 'coast guard' and 'civilian fishing vessel' fleets as weapons to secure natural and mineral resources around Asia. Few shots are fired. The vast fleets (several hundred thousand) of untracked fishing vessels have done a marvellous job of scouring their own home waters bare and currently it's a rather one sided game of taking over neighbouring seas. Soon enough it will move further south. I think if the Arafura class makes maximum use of OTH surveillance drones as I detailed in the OP, these will be the perfect platforms to monitor and stand up to this new hybrid resource 'war' we're facing against large numbers of small vessels, in trying to protect our enormous and rich EEZ. So long as we're not too afraid to send a few 40mm over some bows. Maybe even occasionally directly into one. African and Latin American waters are already being 'mined' heavily because many of those nations don't have the resources to patrol/enforce. The link below is a good article on this fishing issue:


Also worth remembering that this expanded surveillance envelop also makes it far better at all the other traditional anti-piracy/smuggling roles.

Working on the theory the class don't have the luxury of a peaceful life; then the question will be asked, not what was it designed for and what it cannot do! But rather what is its potential.....................The questioned asked of any defence asset in 1942 not 1935.
My wishful thinking is the vessel has integral scope in design to be much more than it's peaceful incarnation.

But yes, your correct in your thoughts it will not be a frigate, but it could however be much more than a patrol boat.
I was also one that was initially, quietly, disappointed at the choice and outfitting of this class. There is much more potential there than what has been chosen but it's important to focus on the fact that right now this class fills an urgent need to replace a bunch of rubbish aluminium speed boats that were never truly fit for purpose or longevity and only sport a 25mm autocannon. This is a huge upgrade over what it replaces.

I also like to believe there are enough smart leaders in the RAN/ADF who also considered the potential in the selection. Should the arms build up in SEA continue its trend over the next few years, we have a ready-to-go option for a 'corvette' type vessel, even as a new class inserted during the Arafura run. The hulls are easy to knock out in the two primary Australian shipyards and over time there will be experience gained in construction and operation of Arafura to guide such a decision. You may yet see some future whitepaper listing a need for a 'corvette' type role based on the same hull with all the extra bits you wish for, and it could be done very quickly and easily. That's an option we have as a nation should it be required somewhere in the next decade. It's nice to have options.

Don't hold your breath though! :D
 
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